Welcome!

Enrich Your Travels with Longitude

We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.

SIGN UP FOR

Longitude News

Get our monthly e-mail update

GET A

Catalog

West Africa

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

  • E-MAIL
  • PRINT

Kids

Books for

Essential Reading

Item EXWAF71. Buy these 5 items as a set for $99 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

ADD SET
TO BOOKBAG

African Silences

African Silences

by Peter Matthiessen

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 225 PAGES

In this narrative of Equatorial Africa, Matthiessen recounts several trips to The Gambia, Senegal, Zaire and the Congo Basin in search of rhinos, elephants and other endangered wildlife. (WAF36, $13.00)

West African Folktales

West African Folktales

by Jack Berry | Richard Spears

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 229 PAGES

These 123 unembellished tales reflect the rich oral tradition of cultures throughout West Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, where the pioneering Berry did much of his field work. (WAF13, $24.95)

Africa, a Biography of the Continent

Africa, a Biography of the Continent

by John Reader

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 816 PAGES

With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa. (AFR49, $20.00)

Lonely Planet West Africa

Lonely Planet West Africa

by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 518 PAGES

This is the book to carry for travels from Mauritania to Niger, with both a good overview of culture and history and the usual Lonely Planet attention to practical travel information. (WAF10, $36.99)

Africa North and West Map

Africa North and West Map

by Michelin

  • 2011
  • MAP

A fine regional map covering Senegal, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania and their neighbors as well as all the Mediterranean-bordering countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) at a scale of 1:4,000,000. (AFR34, $12.95)

 
Niger Map

Niger Map


by IGN

  • MAP

A good, full-color shaded relief map of Niger at a scale of 1:2,000,000. (AFR38, $16.95)

Bradt Guide Mali

Bradt Guide Mali


by Ross Velton

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This third edition of this excellent, travel-savvy guide covers the history, culture and attractions of Mali including its music and festivals. (WAF16, $27.99)

Rough Guide West Africa

Rough Guide West Africa


by Jim Hudgens | Richard Trillo

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 1312 PAGES

A comprehensive guide to all West Africa, including its history and culture. With its region-by-region descriptions, 172 maps and 12 pages of color photos, this guide covers from Mauritania south to Cameroon. (WAF38, $34.99)

Africa

Africa


by Phyllis Martin | Patrick O'Meara

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

African history and prehistory, popular culture, art and economics -- it's all here in the most popular introductory text for undergraduate African studies courses in North America. With maps, photographs and drawings. (AFR07, $26.00)

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles


by Richard Dowden

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 592 PAGES

Africa editor of The Independent and The Economist, Richard Dowden draws on decades of experience in this multi-faceted, vivid portrait of contemporary Africa -- an Africa that, Dowden effectively argues, can only be developed by its own people. (AFR242, $19.95)

Captive Passage, The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas

Captive Passage, The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas


by The Mariners' Museum | Smithsonian Inst.

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

A companion volume to the exhibition drawn largely from the collections of The Mariners' Museum. (ATL14, $21.95)

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha


by Sarah Erdman

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Erdman's affectionate memoir of her time as a volunteer at a health clinic captures the rhythms, traditions and challenges of village life on the Ivory Coast in the days before civil war. (WAF72, $18.00)

The Africans

The Africans


by David Lamb

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 371 PAGES

In these 17 well-written essays, news correspondent Lamb ranges throughout Africa, creating an insightful portrait of the land and especially its people. (AFR22, $19.95)

The Race for Timbuktu

The Race for Timbuktu


by Frank T. Kryza

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 322 PAGES

An engrossing account of imperial adventures in early 19th-century West Africa and the quest for fabled Timbuktu. (WAF88, $14.95)

The Slave Ship, A Human History

The Slave Ship, A Human History


by Marcus Rediker

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 434 PAGES

Rediker charts the history of slave ships, their crews, and their enslaved passengers, documenting harrowing stories of cruelty, bravery and surprising humanity. (ATL34, $18.00)

The Slave Trade

The Slave Trade


by James Walvin

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Photographs, paintings and contemporary maps give insight into the reality and global impact of the transatlantic slave trade in this lively entry in the History Files series. (ATL38, $24.95)

Themes In West Africa's History

Themes In West Africa's History


by Emmanuel Akyeampong

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 323 PAGES

Geared for university students, these review articles by leading scholars cover archaeology, ecology and culture, oral traditions, society, politics and religion in West Africa. (WAF114, $29.95)

West Africa Before the Colonial Era, A History to 1850

West Africa Before the Colonial Era, A History to 1850


by Basil Davidson

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 257 PAGES

Davidson puts the stories of peoples and empires into context in this lively, scholarly history. With maps, illustrations and a timeline. (WAF07, $68.40)

African Vodun: Art, Psychology and Power

African Vodun: Art, Psychology and Power


by Susanne Preston Blier

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 476 PAGES

A detailed study of West African vodun traditions, particularly in Togo and Benin. Blier compares the psychological and visual elements of Vodun with related voodoo traditions of Haiti and New Orleans. (WAF74, $52.50)

Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa

Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa


by Mungo Park

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

Park chronicles the culture, society and nature of West Africa before the colonial period in this classic account of a 24-year-old Scotsman exploring, often alone, in uncharted Africa. First published in 1799. (WAF40, $12.95)

A Zoo in My Luggage

A Zoo in My Luggage


by Gerald Durrell

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

Charming stories of a six-month sojourn in British Cameroon in search of animals for his new zoo. (WAF78, $14.00)

Chasing the Devil, A Journey Through Sub-Saharan Africa in the Footsteps of Graham Greene

Chasing the Devil, A Journey Through Sub-Saharan Africa in the Footsteps of Graham Greene


by Tim Butcher

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 336 PAGES

Using Graham Greene's 1936 Journey Without Maps as a guide, journalist Tim Butcher returns to war-torn Sierra Leone and Liberia in this engaging tale, mixing the author's own adventures with history and anecdote. (WAF156, $26.95)

Journey Without Maps

Journey Without Maps


by Graham Greene

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A classic account of a 1930s journey of discovery from Sierra Leone to the Liberian coast. No one captures local personalities and complicated morality better than Graham Greene, who had a particular interest in West Africa. (WAF15, $16.00)

Of Water and the Spirit, Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman

Of Water and the Spirit, Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman


by Malidoma Patrice Some

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A window in the world view of West African religion, Malidoma Some's remarkable, enlightening account of his return to the Dagara people of Upper Volta shows his transformation from outsider to Shaman through a month-long initiation. (WAF110, $17.00)

To the Moon and Timbuktu, A Trek Through the Heart of Africa

To the Moon and Timbuktu, A Trek Through the Heart of Africa


by Nina Sovich

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

A lyrical travelogue by American expatriate and journalist Sovich who escapes her adventure-less life on an expedition through West Africa. She sketches the beauty, textures and flavors of Western Sahara, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. (WAF174, $25.00)

Ambiguous Adventure

Ambiguous Adventure


by Cheikh Hamidou Kane

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

This classic novel follows a Senegalese man in France, where he finds his Islamic faith at odds with a culture of materialism. (WAF118, $15.00)

Every Day Is for the Thief

Every Day Is for the Thief


by Teju Cole

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 176 PAGES

In this fabulous novel, Teju Cole's narrator is an unnamed young writer who returns to Lagos, Nigeria after many years away. Through a series of striking experiences, he meditates on profound questions of personal and national history. (WAF178, $23.00)

God's Bits of Wood

God's Bits of Wood


by Sembene Ousmane | Francis Price

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 245 PAGES

A story of conflict between colonial powers and West African rail workers set in the late 1940s, written by Senegal's foremost novelist and filmmaker. (WAF22, $16.00)

Middle Passage

Middle Passage


by Charles Johnson

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Winner of the National Book Award, this historical novel, set in 1830, is the richly imagined tale of a recently freed slave in New Orleans who signs aboard a square-rigger bound for Africa. (ATL02, $15.00)

No Sweetness Here and Other Stories

No Sweetness Here and Other Stories


by Ama Ata Aidoo

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

A collection of eleven short stories about the lives of women and men in postcolonial Ghana and the tensions between traditional village and urban life; Aidoo's stories emphasize Ghana's prominent oral culture. (WAF23, $14.95)

Radiance of Tomorrow

Radiance of Tomorrow


by Ishmael Beah

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) set his lyrical debut novel in Imperi, Sierra Leone in the wake of a civil war. Two school teachers attempt to renew the community beset by famine, rapes and murder, water scarcity and a land-grabbing mining company which poses a permanent threat to the town's livelihood. (WAF175, $25.00)

Roots

Roots


by Alex Haley

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 912 PAGES

Haley's epic story of Kunta Kinte and his descendents opens in Jufureh The Gambia, in 1750, going on to traces seven generations of one family and tell the story of Africans in America. Thirtieth anniversary edition. (WAF21, $18.99)

Search Sweet Country

Search Sweet Country


by Kojo Laing

  • LITERATURE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

One of the great novels of Africa presented here in a 25th anniversary edition, it follows the lives of an eclectic and inextricably interconnected group of Ghanaians living in and around the sprawling, chaotic city of Accra in the mid-1970s. (WAF157, $24.00)

Segu

Segu


by Maryse Conde | Barbara Bray

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 493 PAGES

An epic novel set in the West African kingdom of Bambara (old Mali) in 1797, exhaustive in its detail and thoroughly addictive. Conde transforms actual historical events into a full-blooded, lively tale. (WAF17, $17.00)

Swallow

Swallow


by Sefi Atta

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 296 PAGES

In her spirited and heartfelt tale of two young women trying to make a living in contemporary Lagos, Nigerian novelist Atta successfully tackles issues of gender, class, manipulation and corruption. (WAF153, $15.00)

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart


by Chinua Achebe

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 209 PAGES

The 50th anniversary edition of Achebe's celebrated novel of the young village leader Okonkwo, set in 19th-century Nigeria during the drama and disruption of colonialism. (WAF56, $11.95)

Viceroy of Ouidah

Viceroy of Ouidah


by Bruce Chatwin

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Chatwin evokes in rich detail the rise to power of a wretched slave trader and the 19th-century court of Dahomey (Benin) in this slim novel. (WAF18, $13.00)

A Field Guide to the Birds of The Gambia and Senegal

A Field Guide to the Birds of The Gambia and Senegal


by Clive Barlow | Tim Wacher | Tony Disley

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

A guide to 660 species of birds of Senegal and the Gambia, featuring 48 color plates and short descriptions on the facing pages. (WAF03, $45.00)

Birds of Western and Central Africa, Princeton Illustrated Checklist

Birds of Western and Central Africa, Princeton Illustrated Checklist


by Ber Van Perlo

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

An admirably compact, comprehensive guide to 1,500 species throughout Western and Central Africa featuring 109 color plates. (WAF02, $30.95)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife

National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife


by Bunny McBride | Duane Schlitter | Richard Estes | Peter Alden

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 988 PAGES

This comprehensive photo guide covers 850 birds, mammals and reptiles of Africa. With range maps and a good country-by-country overview of habitats and parks. (AFR25, $24.95)

Primates of West Africa

Primates of West Africa


by John F. Oates

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 556 PAGES

Published by Conservation International, this comprehensive field guide covers the 80 species of primates of West Africa. (WAF163, $55.00)

Primates of West Africa

Primates of West Africa


by John F. Oates

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PLASTIC CARD
  • 20 PAGES

Illustrated by Stephen Nash, this pocket identification guide, with range maps, covers 80 species of primates of West Africa, (WAF164, $7.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.